An Unfinished War

Born in 1984 in Baku, Soviet Azerbaijan, I fled the country in 1988 with my family because of ethnic violence against the Armenian population. We lost our home, our friends, our relatives, our hopes. Organised killings of Armenians, the fight for Nagorno Karabakh’s independence and reunion with the Armenian SSR lead to large-scale war in 1991-1994 following the fall of the Soviet Union.

The ethnic Armenian enclave of Nagorno Karabakh declared its independence from Azerbaijan in 1991, but the independence has not been recognised internationally. A ceasefire agreement mediated by Russia was signed in 1994. But, de jure war never ended. Ceasefire violations by Azerbaijan along the border continued for years.

Another full-scale war between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan broke out in the morning of September 27, 2020 and quickly escalated from the front lines to populated towns and villages. The war ended on November 10, with Azerbaijan taking control of a part of Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as surrounding regions Armenia had occupied as a buffer zone to protect our small territory. More than 5000 people killed during 44 days war, illegal chemical weapons were used by Azerbaijan, and thousands lost their homes. Ceasefire violations by Azerbaijan on the new frontlines continue to this day.

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